New Start Up visa in Canada open for applications

by Ray Clancy on May 22, 2013

New Start Up visa in Canada open for applications

New Start Up visa in Canada open for applications

Canada’s new Start Up visa, which officials claim is the first of its kind in the world, is now open for applications. The Start-Up visa is regarded as being an important part of the Canadian government’s plan to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system.

It aims to provide Canadian private sector organisations with access to a broad range of entrepreneurs, including the world’s best and brightest, in whose ideas they can invest. At the same time, the programme provides immigrant entrepreneurs with assistance in navigating the Canadian business environment, which can be a challenge for newcomers, and enables them to build innovative companies that can create Canadian jobs and compete on a global scale.

‘There is huge interest in Canada’s new Start Up visa and in Canada’s expanding tech sector,’ said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney who has just returned from a trip to Silicon Valley in the US to promote the visa’s possibilities. ‘Canada’s strong economic growth, low taxes and business costs, excellence in research and innovation, and top quality of life all make Canada a top country for innovative entrepreneurs looking to build their businesses. If you are a start up entrepreneur and want to build a dynamic company that can compete on a global scale, then this visa programme is for you,’ he explained.

‘The new Start Up visa will help Canada attract the world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to build businesses, create jobs, and fuel economic growth,’ he added.

During his time in Silicon Valley, Kenney met with foreign entrepreneurs and influential figures in the start up and tech communities. These included founders of start ups, accelerators, other business leaders, venture capitalists, angel investors and immigration experts to promote the visa and explain why Canada is a great place to start a business and invest.

Quote from ExpatForum.com : “Canada is to launch a new programme in April to recruit innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth, it has been announced.”

Kenney met Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Start-Ups, one of America’s leading start up accelerators which provides mentorship and seed fund investments to help entrepreneurs become successful. He also met with members of C100, a Silicon Valley based organisation that supports Canadian technology entrepreneurship through mentorship, partnerships, and investment. CIC has worked with two umbrella organizations, Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO), to identify and designate the venture capital funds and angel investor groups that are keen to participate in the program.

Immigrant entrepreneurs hoping to launch cutting edge businesses in Canada and attain permanent resident status need the support of participating Canadian investors. ‘There has been significant interest from both angels and entrepreneurs since the announcement of this programme. Our angel group members across Canada are eager to participate, and we look forward to supporting the growth of new businesses and helping them to make their mark in Canada, further expanding our economy,’ said Michelle Scarborough, chair of NACO.

To apply for permanent resident status in Canada, the foreign entrepreneur must first secure a significant investment commitment from a designated Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund. Applicants must also demonstrate language proficiency skills at a Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in listening, speaking, reading and writing, and have at least one year of education at a post secondary institution.

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